A Quantum leap takes place in cruising

A quantum leap in cruising will take place when RCCL’s Quantum of the Seas launches this autumn.

Being lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the new ship, Quantum of the Seas, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg was something I wouldn’t necessarily have expected.  The new SMART ship technology might have been something that was under wraps (and if it all does work – and my money is on it working – it will make a real ‘splash’).  But perhaps even more entertaining was getting the opportunity to speak to Richard Fain, the CEO of the cruise line, himself.

Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, leads our tour of Quantum of the Seas
Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, leads our tour of Quantum of the Seas

To get the low down from the man at the top about all this new SMART technology on board was pretty special.

But as Richard also said, “Boys like their toys and this is one big toy I get to enjoy”.

Richard enjoys the dodgem car at the new Sea Plex
Richard enjoys the dodgem car at the new Sea Plex

Richard also explained that bookings are on the increase for the cruise line, with Quantum of the Seas and the next ship in line to be launched, Anthem of the Seas,  already securing 150,000 reservations.

The new SMART technology is all about a unique partnership with a company that makes masts for mobile phones named O3B (the other 3 billion – presumably those who do not .  Only this company has now branched out into satellites.  In total, there will be eight satellites that will give Quantum of the Seas, and then the entire fleet, virtually unlimited bandwidth for use by crew, passengers and the ship.

What does this mean?

  • Luggage can be tracked with your smart phone
  • Shows, speciality restaurants, spa treatments can be booked on line with your Cruise Planner
  • Documentation is all organised on-line so no check in queues when boarding.  Passengers can upload their own security photo, and receive digital boarding confirmations
  • Cabin doors will be opened with a wrist band. RFID WOWband wristbands, which require only a simple tap to quickly navigate the ship, make onboard purchases and serve as the room key
  • Two70° is a multi-level hang-out which will have virtual bands and musicians, as well as 270-degree panoramic sea views.

But some of the touches I like are, for instance, the virtual balconies designed for all the 375 inside state rooms.  They really do look realistic but are projected images from cameras based around the ship.  Cool!

Is it the Bahamas?  No, its a virtual balcony for an inside stateroom
Is it the Bahamas? No, its a virtual balcony for an inside stateroom

 

And, just for fun, they will have North Star.  This apparatus looks like a glass pod extracted from the London Eye and then put on a huge mechanical arm.  The pod will suspend guests 300 ft. above the ship and even out over the ocean.  Can’t wait to try that one!

Quantum of the Seas with North Star arm protruding
Quantum of the Seas with North Star arm protruding

 

Digital sculpture suspended from the ceiling
Digital sculpture suspended from the ceiling

And the first sky diving experience at sea, RipCord by ifly, is going to be a real hit with children and adventurous adults.  These simulators are already operating in Orlando but Quantum of the Seas will be the first ship to have anything like this.

Josh explaining the new RipCord by ifly sky dive simulator
Josh explaining the new RipCord by ifly sky dive simulator
The RipCord by ifly tube is ready for skydivers
The RipCord by ifly tube is ready for skydivers

 

But maybe the best idea of all is to have robotic bartenders at a Bionic Bar.  I didn’t get to see this feature but I can only imagine it will be a great addition to this Bionic ship!

Bionic Bar with Robot bartenders. Image provided by RCCL
Bionic Bar with Robot bartenders. Image provided by RCCL

With SMART Technology,  Bionic Bartenders, Virtual Musicians, bandwidth that allows you to stream your favourite films on your lap top, there will be a whole lot of on board tech going on.

To book go on line or contact your travel agent: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line